India, US moving towards “convergence” on key issues in Paris

11 Dec 2015


The United States and India, two of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, yesterday indicating that there was ''convergence'' on many issues, clearing the way to a final agreement in Paris.

Meeting for the second time in two days, India's environment minister Prakash Javadekar and US secretary for state John Kerry termed the meeting ''very constructive'' unlike the first one where Javadekar had ruled out any compromise.

Javadekar said US and India ''were arriving at convergence and the work was in progress'' following an hour-long meeting with Kerry.

There was some ''forward'' movement on transparency and differentiation in the Paris agreement, the two issues holding back talks, the Hindustan Times reported citing sources.

India had agreed to move from annex-1 (44 countries) and non-annex (remaining) countries differentiation in UN convention agreed to in 1992 to the concept of the developed and developing country as it would not have adverse implications.

The US favoured a nuanced change in differentiation as it could bring countries like South Korea, Singapore and Saudi Arabia in the category of developed world, making them liable to pay for fighting climate change.

As regards the accountability mechanism, there was some headway with the US inclined to maintain differentiation between the developed and the developing world in a universal review mechanism.

As the Paris talks on climate change entered the final round to produce a "clean text" for consideration today, union environment minister Prakash Javadekar held discussions with US secretary of state John Kerry at the CoP21 venue to sort out contentious issues. This was the second meeting between them in Paris.

"The meeting was productive, and our negotiating teams are working on the language and issues. We are hopeful," Javadekar told the media later. The discussions covered major points like differentiation, the nature of the agreement, finance and technology transfer, and harmony between the agreement text and the 'decision' that will be made by CoP21.

Transparency measures in implementation, that would be laid down for all countries to follow in a prescribed manner, also figured in the talks.

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